Men behaving badly

By Senior Constable Mick Emery, Rainbow Beach Police Beat

Many of you would be familiar with the Christmas account of the three wise men: the trio who travelled through the night – one carrying a gift of gold, one carrying frankincense and one carrying myrrh to the newborn Jesus.

Well another trio journeyed through the night recently – although their behaviour was about as far from the spirit of Christmas as you can get!  Walking the streets of Rainbow Beach after midnight, one carried a knife, one carried a pitch-fork and one carried a shovel…these items were certainly not gifts, and the three involved were far from ‘wise men’.

The trio ended up at a Cooloola Drive address, where an altercation ensued with the occupants. The events that transpired resulted in a 51-year-old man receiving a stab wound to his shoulder, requiring surgery. A 27-year-old man is now before the court facing a charge of unlawful wounding, and two further men have been charged with public nuisance.

While specifics of that incident are now left to the court to determine, we have also responded to other unrelated incidents that share some unfortunate similarities: midnight…alcohol…and weapons (how is anything involving that combination going to end well?).

Ironically, alcohol is a lawful substance – yet the social cost of alcohol to Australia is nearly twice that of illicit drugs. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s 2010 report indicates that the social cost of alcohol (think health care, road accidents and crime) was $15.3 billion, while illicit drugs accounted for $8.2 billion.

Midnight…alcohol…and weapons (how is anything involving that combination going to end well?)

At a local level, our calls for service reflect the above statistics – alcohol related incidents far outnumber drug related incidents. Needless to say, when police respond to such incidents it is usually “too late” – the damage has already been done.

I’d love to tell you that with age and maturity comes a more responsible approach to alcohol – but a 41-year-old recently proved otherwise. The man chose to celebrate his Buck’s night at a Rainbow Beach licensed premises – on the night before his wedding.

Unfortunately the group believed that this special occasion somehow entitled them to behave how they wanted – and began swearing around other patrons and children who were trying to enjoy their meals.

After numerous warnings (which fell on deaf ears), the group was evicted – but they were about as obedient as a NSW State of Origin team being asked to get back their ten meters. The groom himself attempted to assault staff, and became so disorderly that – as he was escorted out – he caused extensive damage to a timber door.

Police located the groom and his “best men” the following day as they prepared for the imminent wedding. Preparations were put on hold as the groom was issued with a notice to appear before court.

Needless to say, the bride-to-be was none too impressed that her spectacular arrival was overshadowed by the arrival of two police cars – not to mention some further items to put on the bill (the man was ordered by the court to pay $420 in restitution for the damaged door).

The groomsmen, for their part in the disturbance each received a fine of $683 for being disorderly on licensed premises. An ‘unforgettable’ wedding indeed – for all the wrong reasons…

Some of you reading this article will be visiting for the Fishing Classic, which has historically been a family-friendly atmosphere, free of alcohol-related incidents like those outlined above (which is a credit to the community).

However, we again ask that you take security precautions with your prized rods and reels. Be aware that flathead may not be the only bottom-dwelling species to find your fishing gear irresistible.

In a recent incident, brazen thieves went to work stealing a sounder and chart-plotter from a boat on a trailer – while the owners were asleep in the car that it was hitched to!

All the best for the competition, and – if you like a drink – please do so responsibly. Hopefully the only mugshots we see this month will involve people holding up some huge fish…

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